An honest take on life and parenthood

The Pooh’s Special Friend

on May 11, 2017


As a mom, I hold a special dark place in my heart for toys that take hours to assemble and are large and awkward to store (think complicated marble runs and large, noisy whirlygigs), and cool craft projects that are beyond the skill set of a child, requiring an adult to make the craft while the child directs and watches.

A good friend of the Pooh recently gave her a poncho craft project from the Seedling company, which prides itself on high quality, interesting crafts for kids. The white canvas poncho came with fabric markers in six pretty colors, bright feathers, bells, and tassels, as well as glue dots, sewing needles, and six spools of colored thread.

The Pooh happily set to work with the fabric markers. When she finished coloring in the poncho, with periodic assistance from me, it was time to affix the decorations. The glue dots were not strong enough to hold the decorations, so we had to turn to sewing.

The Pooh is now seven and takes sewing classes, but she is accustomed to using a sewing machine. She does not yet have the manual dexterity to thread a needle or knot thread. She can sew by hand, but not well or for very long.

She became the fashion designer while I became her humble assistant. I bent over the poncho with needle and thread, grumbling under my breath at yet another project that required significant parental involvement.

Some crafts are okay, but I find sewing to be especially tedious, particularly this kind that involves many cycles of needle threading, thread knotting, and doo-dad placement.

The first hurdle was thread knotting. Canvas is coarse fabric, so a single knot on the thread did not anchor the stitches. I pulled the needle and thread right through the fabric. A triple knot finally did the trick.

After I threaded the needle and triple-knotted the thread for her, she sewed aqua pom-pom edging around the neckline of her poncho as best as she could.

Next, I found that it was impossible to get the sewing needle to pierce the tough shaft of the colorful feathers. My designer insisted that the feathers were critical to the design, so I could not convince her to omit them.

I stabbed the needle through the canvas, sewing the feathers on as best as I could by sewing around the shaft of the feathers to secure them, and hoped for the best.

Next, it was time to add the bells. There I was, hand-sewing 12 individual bells at regular intervals around the bottom of the poncho, trying not to think of all of the other things I should or could doing instead.

As I mentally groused, my neck aching, needle flashing through the canvas, the Pooh suddenly said, “Mommy, Grandparents and Special Friends day is next week. Are you coming?”

I stopped sewing and looked up at my bear. “Are you saying that you consider me a Special Friend?” I asked her.

Call me insecure, but I needed clarification.
“Yes,” she said, matter-of-factly, her big brown eyes hopeful. “So, are you coming?”

My heart loosened up from tight and cranky to soft and mushy.
Regretfully, I had to tell her that I would not be coming, since the day was reserved especially for grandparents and other special people who were not mommies and daddies.

But as I threaded my needle and triple knotted the thread again for the tenth tiny tinkly bell on her poncho, the craft didn’t seem so bad anymore.

As I stitched on the bell, I said, “Sweet girl, you are my special friend too. You always have been, ever since the day you were born. You are so sweet and funny, kind-hearted and smart. I feel so lucky to be your mommy and your friend.”

“Aww, Mommy,” she said, blushing slightly, her new little freckles standing out across her nose.

We gave each other a hug and a kiss. After another hour of work, I completed her poncho, and she was delighted.  “I can’t wait to wear it to school and bring it to sewing class!” she exclaimed.

She wore it proudly into school the following morning, and I smiled as she showed it off to her teacher and little friends.

Granted, this poncho craft was a pain, but sometimes, reminders of affection come in odd packages.  The Pooh’s surprise gift of pure, uncomplicated love also gave me the opportunity to tell her how much I treasured her.

Annoying craft? Sure.

Would I do it all over again just for that moment with the Pooh?


Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.


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